There is no single conclusion in it – versions about human infection from an animal and about a virus leak from the laboratory are still not excluded.
The American intelligence community could not come to a single conclusion about the origin of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it follows from the public version of the intelligence report.
The US intelligence community concluded that the coronavirus was probably not created as a biological weapon and that the Chinese government was unaware of the virus until the Wuhan outbreak in late 2019. At the same time, both main versions of the origin of the coronavirus – about human infection from an animal and about a leak from a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – are still not excluded.
Most agencies “with low confidence,” say the coronavirus “probably has not been genetically modified,” according to the report, but two other agencies believe there is not enough data to draw such conclusions.
The document states that the American intelligence community “remains divided” over the probable origins of the coronavirus. However, all agencies agree that natural contact with an infected animal and an incident associated with the laboratory are plausible versions.
In conclusion, the authors of the report state that cooperation from China will most likely be required to establish the exact source of the origin of the coronavirus.
“Beijing, however, continues to obstruct the global investigation, resist the exchange of information, and blame other countries, including the US. These actions partly reflect the Chinese government’s uncertainty about what the investigation could lead to, as well as its frustration that the international community is using this issue for exerting political pressure on China, “the report says.
In May, US President Joe Biden instructed US intelligence agencies to “redouble efforts” to find the source of the origin of COVID-19 and report the results within 90 days. According to The New York Times, before that, American intelligence informed the White House that it had some not yet investigated data regarding the origin of the coronavirus. It was reported that intelligence will use “extraordinary” computer power to test the version of the leak of the COVID-19 virus from a laboratory in Wuhan.
A group of WHO experts in early 2021 visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology and published a report in which they called the version of the virus leak “extremely unlikely”. The United States and its allies greeted the report with criticism and won an admission from WHO that a laboratory version of the origin of the coronavirus was ruled out too early. At the end of July, the PRC refused WHO to conduct the second stage of studying the origin of COVID-19 in Chinese territory.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology operates a laboratory with the highest Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4). After the outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003 caused by the SARS-CoV coronavirus, the institute’s scientists were collecting and studying coronaviruses from bats, as well as conducting experiments to transform coronaviruses. In total, there are several dozen BSL-4 laboratories in the world in 23 countries.
The first case of COVID-19 in China was officially identified in December 2019 and was linked to a seafood market in Wuhan. A joint study published by China and the World Health Organization in late March found that sporadic infections in humans were present even before the outbreak in Wuhan.
China has repeatedly denied the possibility of the virus leaking from the laboratory and called for not politicizing the origin of the infection.